As the absence rate keeps increasing here at UAHS, the makeup work is stressing out not only students, but teachers, too.

By Sarah Gifford

Each day here at UAHS, many kids are out sick. Even though many sicknesses, like bronchitis, strep, or even a sinus infection are going around, one illness is really throwing off the school’s attendance records: the H1N1 virus, also known at the swine flu. When there are many kids are at home from school, it not only throws off the attendance, but it also messes up the teachers’ lesson plans as well. This is because of all of the makeup work that they have to remember keep in order to give to their students. Even though the absences are stressing out the teachers, the students are especially feeling the pressure because they have so much work to do.

Kids who even miss one day will have a lot of makeup work to do when they get back to school. At Windermere Elementary, 5th grader Jonathan Grove missed 5 days of school because he had the swine flu and then pneumonia.

“I was very tired all the time, of course I felt really sick a lot, achy, and I had a really bad cough. What made it worse was that I had a lot of makeup work to do once I got back to school!” he said.

Swine Flu may be a big reason for all of these absences, but there are also a lot of other seasonal viruses that are going around at this time of year. “Nurses feel that the majority of kids are actually out with the swine flu, but there are also a lot of usual sicknesses that go around at this time of year, like strep, bronchitis, and even sinus infections.” said Melissa Thien, the attendance office secretary. Upper Arlington has been taking many measures to make sure that kids don’t get sick too often, some of which are: the school puts up signs all over to make sure that people wash their hands often, and the school puts out hand sanitizer as another way to make sure that kids are staying healthy. The school also reminds kids very often to stay home if they are sick so that other students won’t get sick, too.

“The biggest number of people that have been absent in one day is 170 students.” Thien’s statement attendance records.

Even though absences are making kids feel stressed out, they are also really stressing out the teachers. Teachers have to keep track of all of the kids that were absent, when they were gone, and what work they missed. It is especially hard for the global language teachers to get kids caught up, because just a worksheet isn’t enough for most kids to understand what they are talking about.

“It’s harder for us to get kids caught up compared to a history class, because there is a lot of classroom practice, and it’s hard to simulate that.” Said Lisa Markovich, a Global Language teacher at UAHS. Both students and teachers are making sure that they take any precautions possible to avoid sicknesses.

“There are a lot of ways that many teachers, including myself, are making sure that they don’t get sick. We are washing our hands a lot, coughing into our sleeves, exercise, eat well, and make sure to rest,” Said Markovich.

The Columbus Public Health website has a lot of information on symptoms that you will have if you do have the swine flu.

“Symptoms of H1N1 flu are similar to the seasonal flu, but may be more severe. These can include: fever, cough, core throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue (tiredness), and vomiting and diarrhea for some.” The Columbus Board of Health said on their website.

Even though many kids are getting sick, there are always precautions that students can make in order to slow down the spread of germs. Teachers are also doing a lot to make sure that they don’t catch anything, either. Kids sometimes think that staying home from school is fun, but along with that comes makeup work.